The Marvel Cinematic Universe owes everything to Robert Downey Jr. The Iron Man actor successfully kicked off the now unstoppable theatrical force with his perfect portrayal of Tony Stark. However, the actor could’ve played a different iconic Marvel character instead.
Reported by The Direct, Robert Downey Jr was eyed up to play one of Marvel's most beloved characters. Before the rise of the MCU, the actor almost played Doctor Doom in Fox’s mediocre Fantastic Four.
Robert Downey Jr could've been Doctor Who
Revealed in the new The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe book, Iron Man director Jon Favreau discussed the casting of Downey Jr. In the book, Jon Favreau talked about the actor’s history with Marvel properties.
Favreau explained that the actor had already been approached by Marvel for other properties. In a time when Marvel properties were split between Fox, Sony and Universal, the actor could’ve been tied to Fox's Fantastic Four series.
“Marvel had already met with [Robert Downey Jr.] before, I think, to play Doctor Doom.”
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Who would've been Iron Man instead?
If Downey Jr. was cast as Doctor Doom, it's fair to presume that he wouldn't have been the MCU's Tony Stark. During development, multiple actors were considered for the role, but none of them would've had the same appeal.
Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen, Timothy Olyphant, Sam Rockwell and Nicolas Cage were all considered for the role. However, as Hugh Jackman was already in the role of Wolverine for Fox’s X-Men, Downey Jr. could've still been considered for Tony Stark if he also played Doctor Doom.
It’s impossible to imagine the MCU without the actor, and judging by rival casting decisions, we don't have too. As it stands, the actor was pretty much born to play the role of Iron Man, and no one can replace him.
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